Make the most of your well-earned money by carefully planning your estate.
We know it’s not nice to think about what happens after you’re gone. But to make sure your loved ones aren’t lumped with a huge tax bill, it’s important to put a plan in place. In the event of your death, your beneficiaries are required to pay inheritance tax on your estate (which includes property, cash in the bank and vehicles). Anything under £325,000 won’t be charged, but anything above this value will be taxed at a whopping 40%. There are, however, a few things you can do to reduce this tax.
Your assets should go to your loved ones, not to the taxman.
You’ve worked far too hard to accumulate your assets for them to fall into the wrong hands.
Inheritance Tax are the two words no one likes to talk (or even think) about. But the consequences will far outweigh the perceived pain of planning ahead. At 40%, the taxman stands to pocket almost half of your estate if you don’t have a proper plan in place. So, that’s where we come in. We know estate planning like the back of our hand so we can do the hard part for you. All we need you to do is help us understand what you’d want to happen after you’re gone so that we can get things in order and help to reduce your IHT bill down the line.
Let us help you to answer the ‘what if’s’. Trust us, there’ll be no better feeling than popping in for a chat and leaving with some confidence and clarity about the future. We’ll also introduce you to our lovely office dog and treat you to a nice cuppa, so there really is nothing to lose.
Planning for peace of mind.
By understanding what’s important to you, we can help you remove any fog about the future and put your wishes first. Depending on your individual circumstances, there will be different options available to you when it comes to estate planning.
Make a will
Inheritance tax varies depending on who inherits your estate and how you share it. Spouses will never have to pay tax on anything you leave them, while children and grandchildren can potentially pay over a threshold of £475,000 (rather than the standard £325,000). Non-immediate family, such as partners, are required to pay the full amount. So, it’s a good idea to distribute accordingly, making sure each value is under the required threshold.
Put your assets into a trust
If you gift a large sum of money in the 7 years prior to your death, it can later be charged with inheritance tax. This is a horrible thought, particularly if you want to help out one of your children (perhaps towards a house or a grandchild’s education). However, if you put this money into a trust fund, inheritance tax doesn’t always apply. And what’s more, a trust allows you to define your own terms. For instance, that it can only be spent on specific things like education or a first home.
Give gifts below the threshold
If you’ve got money to spare, it’s best to treat your loved ones while you’re alive instead of when you’re gone. Not only will you be able to experience life-changing milestones with them (such as getting on the property ladder), but it’s also more tax-efficient. You’re allowed to give gifts of up to £3000 per each tax year. But anything more than that will be taxed (if it was gifted within 7 years prior to your death).
Take out life insurance
If you’re not able to overcome inheritance tax, you could take out a life insurance policy to cover the costs. To make sure this insurance isn’t classified as part of your estate (and taxed as a result), you would have to place it in a trust.
Pay into a pension
Pensions are a great way to avoid inheritance charges, but it’s important to check that you’re taking yours in the most tax-efficient way. If your pension is classed as inside your estate, your beneficiary could be taxed. And if you’re over the age of 75 when you die, your inheritor may have to pay income tax.